Real Estate

A few months ago, I was chatting with my manager about what I was working on. I pitched one of my projects as “something just for fun, it won’t take much time.” This is a code for saying, “I’ll still have time to work on stuff that could make us money.” He instantly made his own point: “You only have so much mental real estate.”

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PSH

Years ago, I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman doing a Q&A after Capote. When asked about his reputation for being “difficult” on set, he talked about how most people wake up in the morning, put on their armor, and go out to face the world while keeping their private selves private.But his job is to be private…in public. And that’s just not easy.

It’s something we take for granted. We marvel at someone’s brilliance, the way they can reveal something truthful and authentic about the human condition. But what’s the cost of doing that every day? What’s the cost of making a living being private in public? We’ll never know for sure.

We can only feel the sadness for an artist gone to soon, and thank him for letting us inside his private self, if only for a short time.

Resolutions

I’m not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions. They’re usually about creating a new habit (like going to the gym) or breaking an old habit (devouring brie like it’s my job). Making positive changes in your life is an awesome thing, but the problem with making a “resolution” is the instant understanding that it’s only a matter of time until you break it. It’s usually accompanied by a smile and a shrug as we say, “wow, made it two days without eating all that brie”.

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Wisdom from a Rock

Sometimes it seems like there are as many people trying to teach screenwriting as there are  screenwriters. There are gurus who have written books, and there are working writers who give back by doing podcasts or answering questions on their blog. But there are also plenty of people who write articles about screenwriting who seem to have learned everything they know from reading articles about screenwriting. There’s that same list making the rounds, usually titled something like Top 10 Mistakes That Will Get Your Screenplay Shredded By The Hollywood Readers. The things on the list are pretty basic i.e. spellcheck, proofread your grammar, get your format right, etc. Still with the ease that it takes to find these basics on-line, it still stuns me how often I see new writers making the same mistakes over and over again.

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